If you are married on December 31, you have to file taxes married or married filing separately. The decision between those two usually rest upon the amount of a tax refund. The most common way is to file jointly and to evenly divide any refund. The alternative is to file married filing separately but then a decision must be made as to who claims the children. If there are no children then the decision involves finances and the refund. Disagreements can arise when one spouse earned more than the other and makes the argument that they should be entitled to more of the refund. However, the dissolution as a whole contemplates all of the financial issues and not just the earnings of one spouse. Another fair but complicated method is for both spouses to prepare a separate return and also a combined joint return to see the refund differences. If there is a disagreement as to the refund, it can be held in an attorney’s trust account to be distributed based upon a settlement or court order.